Miller: Week 10 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Power Rankings

Not many would have predicted OSU to take down USC and Oregon in the same week

Posted on January 25, 2021

Dane Miller
  By Dane Miller, SportsPac12

The Conference of Champions had an upside-down week, with teams perceived at the bottom upsetting those at the top.

Not many would have predicted Oregon State to take down USC and Oregon in the same week, yet here we are. And who picked Washington to beat Colorado and Utah?

But college basketball is always filled with shocking upsets and the attenuating storylines of teams rising and falling as the year progresses.

Look no further than Washington State.

Once thought to have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament, the Cougs have slipped into a spiral of defeats that appears to have no end in sight.

There’s still plenty of opportunities to define the season, but with Selection Sunday just seven weeks away, the clock is ticking.

Below, we give you the Week 10 men’s basketball Power Rankings in the Pac-12.

1. UCLA (8-1, 12-3)

It was bound to happen. After struggling against Washington and California, the Bruins finally suffered their first defeat in conference play. The overtime loss to an undermanned Stanford squad is indicative of the fine line UCLA has tip-toed in its first nine Pac-12 games. Of the Bruins’ eight wins, six have come by six points or fewer, and two have been decided by a single possession.

2. USC (6-2, 12-3)

usc logoAt the time, the Trojans’ two-point defeat to Oregon State was perceived as a bad loss that could haunt Andy Enfield’s team on Selection Sunday. But four days later, the Beavers beat a ranked Duck squad at Matthew Knight Arena, putting a shine on USC’s defeat earlier in the week. And after handling an underestimated California team, the Trojans return to LA for a four-game home stand.

3. Colorado (6-3, 12-4)

The Buffs’ loss to Washington in Seattle was arguably the most shocking defeat of the conference season to date. Tad Boyle described it as one of the most disappointing outcomes of his career, and there’s no way to hide it from the Selection Committee. But Colorado put that game behind them and managed to split its trip to the Apple State, mostly due to McKinley Wright IV playing through an injury in Pullman.

4. Oregon (4-2, 9-3)

At the beginning of the season, N’Faly Dante, Will Richardson, LJ Figueroa, and Chris Duarte each were projected to start on a Duck team with high expectations. On Saturday night against Oregon State, Dana Altman was without all four. In that sense, it’s not shocking that UO struggled against the Beavs, who already turn up the intensity whenever the two programs face off. Once Oregon returns to full health, it arguably has the most potential to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

5. Stanford (5-3, 9-3)

Without Daejon Davis, Bryce Wills, and Ziaire Williams, the Tree pulled off what might be the best win of the Jerod Haase Era. With 0.9 seconds left on the clock in overtime, an inbound play to Oscar da Silva worked to perfection, as the potential Conference Player of the Year scored the game-winner to take down the then-undefeated Bruins. When fully healthy, the Cardinal have a balanced roster capable of beating anyone in the Pac-12.

6. Arizona (5-3, 11-3)

True freshman Azuolas Tubelis scored the game-winning layup as time expired in Tempe, sealing the Wildcats’ first win at the Bank since 2018. The win may mark the revitalization of Arizona’s season, which was arguably beginning on a downward spiral after the Cats were swept at McKale Center by the LA schools. With an upcoming three-game stretch in Tucson, UA has the chance to emerge from the week in second place in the conference standings.

7. Oregon State (4-3, 8-5)

There may not be a hotter team in the country than OSU. After taking down Arizona State, USC, and Oregon, the Beavs have put themselves into a position to generate NCAA Tournament expectations. Wayne Tinkle’s team isn’t on any bracket projections yet, but another strong week would force the Selection Committee to take notice.

8. Utah (3-6, 6-7)

The Utes secured their first conference road win since February 2019, a 15-point trouncing of Washington State in Pullman. But the joy of snapping the streak was short lived, as Utah blew another second half lead, this time to Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena. Timmy Allen is averaging 19.6 points per game over the past six contests, but Larry Krystkowiak’s team hasn’t learned how to hold onto leads in the final 20 minutes.

9. Arizona State (1-4, 4-7)

On the short end of a controversial no-call, the Sun Devils felt something unfamiliar: The sting of a loss to rival Arizona at home. Bobby Hurley had strung together two-straight victories in Tempe over Sean Miller, building an expectation to continue the trend. But sitting in last place and 1-4 in the Pac-12, the time to salvage the season is rapidly fading. Still, there’s no denying the NBA-caliber talent on ASU’s roster, or its 72nd KenPom rating.

10. Washington (2-7, 3-11)

Something changed on January 16th. On the road in Pauley Pavilion, the Huskies appeared to unlock their true potential. And even though that day ended with a five-point defeat to UCLA, the belief within the UW roster noticeably changed. With back-to-back victories over the Mountain programs, partially due to career-nights from Jamal Bey on Saturday and Marcus Tsohonis on Thursday, what’s stopping UW from making a run?

11. California (2-8, 7-10)

The Bears are close. Against arguably the two best teams in the Pac-12, Cal signaled its steady emergence. Games at Haas Pavilion are becoming known as true tests, a reputation that will undoubtedly become a hallmark of the Mark Fox Era in Berkeley. And even though California is still a couple seasons away from breaking through, the writing is on the wall for a revitalization in the Bay Area.

12. Washington State (2-6, 9-6)

Winless since January 7th, the Cougars’ offense is broken. In the middle of a five-game losing streak, Washington State has lost four by double-digits, with an average margin of defeat of 15.8 points. During the stretch, WSU has scored more than 61 points just once, while giving up more than 70 in each contest. And it doesn’t get any easier with a four-game road trip ahead, and not another game in Pullman until February 11th.

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